leg up, a

Idioms & Phrases

leg up, a

  1. The act of assisting someone, giving someone a boost. For example, Studying with Jane, who knows French history well, will give you a leg up for the final exam. This usage alludes to helping a person get on a horse by getting a foot in the stirrup. [First half of 1800s]

  2. A position of advantage, as in Because of the advertising campaign, we had a leg up on the competition.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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